Nordic Journal of Linguistics

Research Article

Sjå på han mannen! On the definiteness and specificity of Scandinavian pronoun demonstratives

Tania E. Strahana1

a1 Hugvísindadeild, Gimli, Háskóli Íslands, Iceland


Pronouns with a demonstrative function appear in most of the Scandinavian languages in phrases like Sjå på han mannen ‘Look at that man’. Despite the Scandinavian languages varying in phrase-internal morphosyntactic definiteness agreement requirements generally, the pronoun demonstrative appears universally with a definite noun (phrase). This is accounted for within a Lexical-Functional Grammar framework, where the pronoun demonstrative is treated as carrying the feature [specific = +], and the definite noun (phrase) is the morphosyntactic realisation of underlying specificity also. In addition, there is variation as to whether the pronoun demonstratives occur as a specifier within the NP, or as the head of its own DP, taking an NP object.


  • definiteness;
  • demonstratives;
  • identifiability;
  • Norwegian;
  • PDD;
  • pronouns;
  • Scandinavian;
  • specificity;
  • uniqueness